A HERBANDSTON pensioner subjected a neighbouring family to six-and-a-half years of harassment following a disagreement over a planning application, a court heard.

Appearing before Haverfordwest magistrates on Friday, April 13, Kenneth Snape, of Little Castle Grove, pleaded guilty to the harassment of nearby neighbours the Williams family.

Snape, 71, had previously denied the harassment between January 1, 2011 and July 20, 2017, but changed his plea before trial, to guilty, but on the basis the defence’s view of the facts were different from the prosecution’s.

Prosecuting, Abul Hussain said: “The complainant is his neighbour, the problems arose when Mr Williams decided to build a house at the location.”

The court heard Snape subjected the Williams family to verbal abuse and regularly played loud music.

“As far as the music is concerned he would constantly play loud music, keeping the music on repeat for long periods of the day,” said Mr Hussain.

Reading from a victim statement he said: “Mr Williams says this has been ongoing for about six years, his youngest son has been unable to go out and play with friends and his wife has been ill with anxiety.

“They never upset him or caused him any harm.”

In making an application for a three-year restraining order, Mr Hussain said: “Mr Snape is a person of hitherto clean character, but what is relevant is the recent June 2015 caution for an affray relating to Mr Williams.”

Defending, Stuart John said: “This is a very sad situation because Mr Snape is a man who has never been involved in the criminal justice system until the complainant moved in across the road; sadly these two neighbours did not get on almost from the start.”

He said the relationship deteriorated following Mr Williams’ planning application.

“They simply haven’t been able to bury the hatchet and move on, things have gone from bad to worse.

“This is a criminal allegation but it is not certainly beyond the realms of possibility it could’ve been dealt with in the civil courts.”

He said Snape accepted the name-calling but claimed it was not one-sided.

He added: “He feels that by pleading guilty he has done the right thing.”

The court heard Snape received roughly £20,000 a year from his pensions.

Snape was placed on a three-year restraining order not to contact Mr Williams or his family, and was ordered to pay costs of £350 and a £20 court charge.

He was also given a two-year conditional discharge.